Tropical forests are disappearing at an unaltered pace, giving way to alternative land uses. This book gives an economic perspective on deforestation. Following a survey of different deforestation definitions, theories and empirical evidence, a case-study of Ecuador provides a versatile historical picture of factors affecting forest loss throughout different periods, regions and ecosystems. It is shown that policy and market failures alone cannot explain rapid deforestation; decision-makers follow a composite economic rationale in their continuous clearing of forests which can only be counteracted by concerted action.
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